Then... they were best friends in Tallahassee.. since 8th grade. They snuck out together.. did crazy Tallahassee kid things..
Then.. they were prayer partners at camp the first summer they were both JCs.. and kept in touch.. she considered him her best friend..and if all else failed .. they met up at Merlefest..
Then she met his best friend.. and they fell in love. He came to the wedding.. all the way from Japan. Soon they learned that he was in love.. with one of those half Japanese girls. They couldn't wait to meet her. They met her.. they loved her as much as they loved him. It was perfect. They were happy. Then.. a phone call.. that would take their foursome in different directions. A baby was on the way. She was jealous, he was worried.. they were stunned.. they were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. Then she arrived, a precious girl from day one. The most beautiful baby they had ever seen. They were parents.. they were grad students. They held hands across the divide, knowing a bridge was just around the corner. Another beautiful little girl arrived. She held her. Her heart ached for one of her own. Her heart melted when she heard her whisper to the beautiful little girl and her cries ceased. She was such an incredible mother. They talked about how they would parent one day.. how they would follow their example. Grad school was over, they stepped into life with hands clasped and expectant hearts. Twins. Girls. Beautiful, beautiful girls. They joined the other two in the ranks. They were within easy driving distance for the first time since that first wedding. They all walked along the edge of the canyon of parenthood, arms outstretched, little hands clinging to their own..together .. on the same side.. no longer stretched across life's distances. And they were happy.. and they were ecstatic.. and now.. another girl joins the group.. another beautiful girl. The little hands reach out to caress her hair, to hold her tiny fingers... welcome they say.
When I looked up and saw him holding Margot, his back to me.. I had a flash.. I saw him sitting with his back to me on the picnic table at the archery range.. as I walked down to meet him for our prayer partner meeting. When he pulled up next to us in the minivan in the parking lot..and he and Stephen got out at the same time and went inside.. I imagined them together in Tallahassee.. I remembered being introduced that first time.. introduced to my future husband. I see her and I remember the night before the wedding, getting to hang out with all the sisters and her in the hotel.. feeling so included.. like I was one of them. I had always wanted to be one of them. It felt so good. She was someone I couldn't wait to get to know better. When I see them I think of how we longed to be closer to them for so many years.. how Kansas and Kentucky seemed so far away.. and I am just so happy. So happy and blessed that these are memories that I can treasure..that I don't have to try to forget.. that it is still as good as it ever was... overwhelmed by the knowledge that it was all as fun as it looks.